David Helfgott

Martha Argerich, Mauricio Pollini and Yevgeny Kissin have new competition. His name is David Helfgott, he is a pianist from Australia, and America has put him in the spotlight.

His CD with works by Rachmaninoff tops the American classic charts, and his first concert tour through the United States is sold out. The career that is now taking off so fast began more than 30 years ago before it was interrupted under tragic circumstances. The former child prodigy broke down under his father's overwhelming ego and spent ten years of his life in mental institutions. David Helfgott's comeback began about 13 years ago, but the public showed only moderate interest in him. It was only when a movie telling his story came to America that the Helfgott mania broke out. The movie, entitled "Shine," is about to come to German theaters. Georg Hirsch saw "Shine" in America, observed the craze about its hero and attended the real David Helfgott's American debut performance.

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